Terence Crawford arrests David Avanesyan to retain his welterweight belt
A dynamic combination showed that Terence “Bud” Crawford remains one of boxing’s best pound for pound.
In front of a raucous hometown crowd, Crawford floored David Avanesyan with a sixth-round TKO on Saturday at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. A left uppercut followed by a manual right put Avanesyan on his back, quickly bringing a tricky fight to an end for Crawford.
With the win, Crawford retains the WBO welterweight title.
“I started picking up the pace, planting my feet and catching it with a hook,” Crawford said in the post-fight interview on BLK Prime.
Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) got off to a slow start against Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KOs). In the first round, the Russian challenger landed an overhand right which was the most important punch of the fight. Crawford, who is known to switch stances, started in an orthodox stance before switching to a southpaw after Avanesyan’s early success with a similar tactic.
Once Crawford started leading with his right hand, he settled into the fight.
While Avanesyan was successful at times in bringing Crawford down and closing the distance between them, Crawford tactically used his jab and footwork to maintain striking space against the burly challenger.
The 35-year-old Omaha player said he wasn’t surprised by Avanesyan’s approach.
“We actually knew what he was going to bring to the table,” Crawford said afterwards. “We knew he was going back and forth orthodox left-handed. We knew he was going to counter. We knew he was going to pressure me.”
In round five, Crawford increased his punching power and relied on a series of uppercuts with Avanesyan on the inside. In the final minute of round five, Crawford unleashed the counter left uppercut before ending the fight with a right hook overhand.
It was Crawford’s 10th straight stoppage win.
“I was just warming up the previous rounds,” said Crawford. “My trainer [trainer Brian McIntyre] told me, I can sit there if I’m comfortable and pick my shots.”
Saturday night was Crawford’s first fight since November 2021, when he stopped Shawn Porter in Las Vegas in a title defense. In the months following that fight, Crawford was determined to take on Errol Spence Jr., his longtime rival who now holds the other three belts in the 147-pound division.
Crawford left Top Rank Promotions after the victory over Porter to fight Spence, who fights for Premier Boxing Champions. According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Spence and Crawford agreed to preliminary terms on a potential fight before talks died down over some of the technical aspects of the bout, including net expenses. After that match fell through, Crawford signed the deal with upstart BLK Prime, which will promote a fight between former welterweight champion Adrian Broner and Ivan Redkach in 2023, he announced on Saturday.
Crawford said he earned $10 million for the fight against Avanesyan.
Spence, who said on social media that he was involved in a car accident, said he remains interested in the fight that many boxing fans have wanted to see for years. Asked directly about it, Crawford was vague about his plans but apparently open to the possibility after a big show in front of his biggest fans.
“It was a one-fight deal [with BLK Prime]”Hopefully we can go to the drawing board and have those big fights happen in the near future.”